As Thanksgiving rolls around I always like to reflect on what I am grateful for. This has been a challenging year for our country and it’s so easy to focus on what is going wrong. All the more reason to stop for a moment and focus on gratitude and all the good in our world!
In spite of all the political turmoil, I’m incredibly grateful for the millions of concerned citizens who have stepped up to the plate to march, protest, write letters to their congressional leaders and form community activist groups. People are angry, yes, but also excited and energized and eager to make a difference. (My husband and I at the Climate Change March in DC, below).
I’m forever grateful to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, the Berkshires of Massachusetts. As much as I prefer warm, sunny days, the woods outside my home are stunning even without the leaves, as everything turns brown. I could choose to focus on how I’m dreading winter, how I hate the cold, and admittedly I often do. But today I’m choosing to notice the beauty of it all and appreciate the changing seasons, the cycle of life, and knowing my sunny summer days will return! A cliché? Maybe, but true, right?
And I can’t talk about gratitude without mentioning my amazing family (my sons, Jeremy and Ben, shown above). Women’s Peace Collection, while my initiative, has become a family business. Although I’m the only woman in the gang, my husband and sons are invaluable in making it a success. My older son is truly talented with the web work, my younger son helps out at festivals and with all sorts of tasks, and my dear husband is at every event setting up, organizing products, and making the tent look awesome! But of course I’m mostly grateful for all the love and joy I feel in their presence – and yes, all the great meals (I don’t cook at all!).
I could go on and on about the things that I’m grateful for and one of them is having the privilege of running a fair trade, socially responsible business. Yes, it’s a ton of work and can be overwhelming at times. But whenever I feel overwhelmed I think of the artisans who make all of our products by hand. I imagine myself sending them positive energy and love. I think about how every item I sell helps them improve their lives. (Shown above is one of my favorite artisans, Bernabela from Guatemala). Then I keep going…..and focus on gratitude.